The Registers of Grants and Confirmations of Arms, the Registered Pedigrees, the Funeral Entries, Lords’ Entries and records of Knights Dubbed are all useful sources for the historian or genealogist researching an armigerous family. Roger O’Ferrall’s Linea Antiqua is the most important source for the genealogies of Gaelic families and also contains exemplifications of arms.
Other important collections contain information from now lost sources previously held in the Public Record Office in Dublin and include the Plea Rolls from the reign of Henry III to that of Henry IV which are a source for Normal genealogy, and extracts from the Pipe Rolls from the reign of Henry III to that of Edward III. Another key source in the Genealogical Office Collection is the collection of abstracts of family information compiled by Sir William Betham from prerogative wills, c. 1536-1810.
Numerous other collections containing genealogical information include the Ecclesiastical Visitations, a list of high sheriffs of counties, a roll of freemen of the City of Dublin, lists of freeholders, and returns from the 1766 census.
A guide to the Genealogical Office Manuscript Collection and catalogue appears in A Guide to the Genealogical Office published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.
In addition to the Manuscript Collection, the Genealogical Office also holds a sizeable collection of monographs and other printed works. Many of these were used by the staff of the Office of the Ulster King of Arms in Dublin Castle and were transferred to the NLI in 1943. A substantial number of items within the Genealogical Office Library Collection relate to genealogy, while there are also a large number of works on heraldry in Ireland and elsewhere.
Access to the Genealogical Office Manuscript Collection (GO MS) and GO Library Collection is open to all holders of a valid Reader’s Ticket in the Manuscripts Reading Room. See Readers’ Tickets and Accessing Material for more information.
A select bibliography of titles relating to heraldry, Irish genealogy and family history, many of which are available in the Main Reading Room, can be downloaded here:
Irish Genealogy, Heraldry and Family History: Select Bibliography SelectBibliography_IrishGenealogyHeraldryFamilyHistory.pdf (0.03 MB, Adobe PDF)